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A

Love to read. Mysteries, history, romance, biography, current events, science, classic fiction. No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on GoodReads and BookLikes.

Member Since 2013

307
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 57 reviews
  • 186 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
8

  • The Remains of the Day

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (479)
    Performance
    (426)
    Story
    (420)

    The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving "a great gentleman". But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington's "greatness" and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.

    Dan Harlow says: "Duty, Honor, England"
    "Wonderful story, lousy audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am really enjoying the book. Simon Prebble could read me the telephone book and I would give it five stars but the format 2 version that I am listening to is full of pops and hisses.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4060)
    Performance
    (3738)
    Story
    (3733)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Janice says: "What does it mean to be human?"
    "descriptive headline"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Golem and the Jinni to be better than the print version?

    Yes, it is stupid questions like this one that have me cringing each time I read a guided review. How the heck can I compare two things when I've only experienced one?? This question should be expunged from the guided database forever.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Golem and the Jinni?

    Finally, though still lame, a question that just might open a door to discussion. Actually, the whole book was memorable.

    Though outside my normal reading genre, I truly enjoyed the book. It showed true imagination and yet at the same time, a knowledge of history and other factual information. It is easy to write a fantasy novel when you are making up everything but having chosen an actual time and place in history, Wecker pretty much stuck to the constraints. The book is well-written, the characters have depth and interest, the descriptions are vivid-- well worth the 20 hours of reading time. BTW, if you are looking for a book that gets to the point quickly, you have chosen the wrong book; this book is about the journey and the scenery, not about the destination.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This is a repeat of the first stupid question. Stop trying to compare listening to a book to reading a book. They are two different but equal experiences that in most cases has more to do with the talent of the chosen narrator than the skill of the author. Even worse, stop trying to convince us that listening to a book is a superior experience. First, you are preaching to the choir and second, even for the choir, it isn't a question of superiority, it's just a question of difference.


    If you could rename The Golem and the Jinni, what would you call it?

    Really, is this question going to help people decide whether this book is one that they want to read or not? Personally, I think not. If the title isn't already the right title for the book, then there is an editor who should be looking for a different profession.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Great Masters: Beethoven - His Life and Music

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (237)

    Have you ever wondered how the lives of great composers-especially when set against the social, political, and cultural context of their world-influences their music?After listening to this perceptive series of eight lectures on the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven, you will likely find that you hear his work in an entirely different way, your insight informed by new knowledge of how Beethoven was able to create masterpieces from the crises of his life.You'll learn about the years of progressive hearing loss-ultimately to produce total deafness-and the understandable agony and rage such a fate would bring upon a composer. About his deep depression over the end of his relationship with the woman he calls his Immortal Beloved. About his pathological hatred of authority, his persecution complex, even delusional behaviors.But you'll also learn how each of these crises, and many others, served to drive Beethoven inward, to reinvent himself and redeem his suffering through art, creating disruptive works of profound passion and beauty that reinvented the nature of musical expression in the Western world.

    Daniel Neal says: "The strangest rabbit hole yet!"
    "Well at least I didn't waste a credit on this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this as a "daily Deal."

    I've managed to get through two lectures. I love Beethoven's music and would be happy to learn more about the composer himself and about music in general but I find this lecturer excruciating to listen to.

    For a couple of minutes in the first lecture, I thought maybe the man has some insights to share as to why Beethoven's music is genius (or not) but all too soon that brief insight was over and we were back to the meaningless cliches. The insights are too few and far between to continue to put up with a lecture style that is, to me, at best annoying If I were in this man's university classroom, I would be dropping the course before the end of the first week.

    I wish that I could say it as elegantly as Jerry did in his 10-16-14 review but "patronizing, supercilious" and "so desperate to be 'cool' and 'hip' " describe my reaction to a T--and I'd rather quote than plagiarize.. This guy is not for me. Jerry, I can only hope that I get as many "Not helpfuls" as you have for daring to say that I don't like this lecturer.

    My advice: Listen before you buy. This lecturer's style is not for everyone.



    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Richard Armitage
    Overall
    (1184)
    Performance
    (1102)
    Story
    (1095)

    It is a tale of ghosts, of madness, of revenge - of old alliances giving way to new intrigues. Denmark is changing, shaking off its medieval past. War with Norway is on the horizon. And Hamlet - son of the old king, nephew of the new - becomes increasingly entangled in a web of deception - and murder. Beautifully performed by actor Richard Armitage ("Thorin Oakenshield" in the Hobbit films), Hamlet, Prince of Denmark takes Shakespeare’s original into unexpected realms, reinventing a story we thought we knew.

    Robert says: "Fantastic whether you like Shakespeare or not!"
    "MacBeth was much better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sorry. I'm just as blown away over this novelization as others readers. While I enjoyed H&H's take on some of the situations, there were other parts that just left me cold--or even laughing. I thought they did a much better job on MacBeth. However, if nothing else, it makes you think about the play and the characters--and why plays are so different from novels.Yorick made me thing I'd been suddenly dropped into Christopher Moore's recent novelization of King Lear, Fool* and for that one reason alone, I think the novel should have been written without the fool.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2816)
    Performance
    (2633)
    Story
    (2631)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Alexis says: "Fun! Things you might want to know:"
    "Get Them Both"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another fine outing by John Scalzi. Loved it for all the reasons already given and won't bore anyone by repeating them.

    I managed to pre-order my copy before the offer deadline and was able to get both versions for one credit--and I am so glad that I did. I will tell you straight away that it is very strange listening to this story in two different voices but rewarding. If you never thought that the narrator was key to an audiobook, listening to both readers will show you just how much the narrator influences the read.



    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Somebody Killed His Editor: Holmes & Moriarity, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Josh Lanyon
    • Narrated By Kevin R. Free
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (301)

    Thanks to an elderly spinster sleuth and her ingenious cat, Christopher Holmes has enjoyed a celebrated career as a bestselling mystery writer. Until now. Sales are down and his new editor is allergic to geriatric gumshoes. On the advice of his agent, he reinvents his fortyish, frumpy, recently dumped self into the sleek, sexy image of a literary lion, and heads for a Northern California writers conference to try and resurrect his career.

    Irene says: "Somebody Killed His Editor"
    "My Bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was just not for me! Buying it in the recent BOGO sale, I relied on the description in the pop up and didn't really see the full description with its 'erotic content' warning. Reading this was like reading a Harlequin romance, right down to the requisite three explicitly soft-core 'encounters.' IMHO, the author couldn't make up his mind if he was writing a mystery or a romance and in the end did justice to neither.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2852)
    Performance
    (1356)
    Story
    (1360)

    Mma "Precious" Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands, seemingly schizophrenic doctors, and a missing boy who may have been killed by witch doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues.

    Gene says: "Transcends its Genre"
    "The perfect series for the out-loud format"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't believe that I haven't written a review of this book!! I've ready the whole series already. I love Mma. Ramotswe. I love how she takes me to quieter and more gentle place. I was hooked the minute I started listening.

    Here's what I say. This is one series of books that is absolutely brought to life when read out loud by Lisette Lecat. If I were to read this book in print, the voices would all have my distinctly 'American television' sound and, in spite of being set in Botswana, there would be no feel of Botswana in the read. If you have picked up the books and put them down unimpressed, try listening to them. You will have a completely different experience when you listen to them.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Devil in a Blue Dress: An Easy Rawlins Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Walter Mosley
    • Narrated By Michael Boatman
    Overall
    (514)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (328)

    Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

    Jefferson says: "Beware of Mysterious Sexy Women with Big Suitcases"
    "I had to at least sample this author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes I'll choose a book just because I think that I should at least read something by a particular author--expand my horizons a bit, as it were. Walter Mosley is one of those authors on my list and so when Devil in a Blue Dress appeared in the sale pile, I took the chance. Glad I did. Mosley's reputation is well deserved. While I am not hooked on Easy Rawlins and racing out to gather up as many in the series as I can, I'm sure that more may make it into my library in the future.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Kline, Jason Tomaszewski
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (676)
    Performance
    (616)
    Story
    (617)

    From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure or a political one, Worst Ideas Ever uncovers the ridiculous stories behind mistakes so huge, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself that they actually happened.

    Sara says: "Wears out quickly"
    "Not impressed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I fell asleep while reading this one and didn't even bother to go back to read what I had missed. The stories felt very repetitive and even though I slept through some of the book (not unusually for me), I didn't feel like I had missed anything. I didn't feel like I learned anything that didn't already know. I just was not impressed by this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jimmy the Kid: Mysterious Press-HighBridge Audio Classics

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Donald Westlake
    • Narrated By Brian Holsopple
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Kelp has a plan, and John Dortmunder knows that means trouble. His friend Kelp is a jinx, and his schemes, no matter how well intentioned, tend to spiral quickly out of control. But this one, Kelp swears, is airtight. He read it in a book.

    In county lock-up for a traffic charge, Kelp came across a library of trashy novels by an author named Richard Stark. The hero is a thief named Parker whose plans, unlike Kelp and Dortmunder's, always work out. In one, Parker orchestrates a kidnapping so brilliant that, Kelp thinks, it would have to work in real life.

    Catherine Zara says: "very funny"
    "What a hoot!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the Dortmunder series for what it is! Give me more and more of the gang that could shouldn't shoot straight. I am happy to laugh my way through their escapades time after time. Here is a book that you can read with a light heart and a big laugh. Here is a book that isn't pretending or even trying to be great literature. It has no depth. It has no message. It doesn't even call out for a review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1988)
    Performance
    (1400)
    Story
    (1401)

    It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

    Midi says: "Terrific story...spot-on narration"
    "Neither here nor there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It wasn't a horrible listen but I am just not enamored enough of the main character to want to continue to read the series.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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